Sheffield United manager Nigel Clough is relishing the tough run of fixtures in the next month.
As well as facing Premier League opposition in QPR (in the FA Cup) plus a League Cup semi-final against Tottenham, the Blades are also chasing promotion to the Championship.
They travel to Port Vale today, host Scunthorpe United on Sunday, before crunch games with top-six sides MK Dons, Preston and Rochdale next month.
“Some people might describe it as a daunting run but we view it as an opportunity,” said Clough.
“If we can pick up points in those league matches, because of who those games are against, then it would really see us put a mark on the division.
“Coupled with that, we have three huge cup games to look forward to. Our progress in the (Capital One) cup has been superb but, make no mistake, even though we know the challenge we face we want to go even further if we possibly can.
“The same goes for when we face QPR, too. It’s going to be a time which could, very well, define the rest of the campaign.”
Clough confirmed Andy Butler is close to extending his loan move to Doncaster Rovers, while Chesterfield midfielder Jimmy Ryan is one of several targets the Blades have been monitoring.
Last six: Port Vale LWLDLW Sheffield United DLWDWD.
Referee: S Attwell (Warwickshire).
Last time: Port Vale 1 Sheffield United 2, April 25 2014, League One.